TODAY   |  August 02, 2013

Tips for parents: Stay stress-free all week long

Diana Debrovner from Parents Magazine and family psychologist Dr. Jennifer Hartstein identify the 5 most stressful moments of the week and give tips for how to pre-emptively retain your zen, from recognizing positive stress to asking for help, and banning tech from the dinner table.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we're back on this try day friday with more of "today." and getting through the most stressful times of the week.

>> whether it's the sunday night blues or monday morning rush we all can pinpoint certain times of the week that are more than we can handle.

>> "parents" magazine covers this topic. dr. jennifer hartstein, a child and adolescent psychologist, allegedly.

>> we're going to pick out the most stressful times of the week. first up is monday morning at 8:00 a.m .

>> oh, hello.

>> why is that so stressful?

>> nice use of a graphic.

>> you are yelling at your kids to hurry up and get dressed and eat breakfast and put on your shoes. they are not listening to you.

>> aren't they out of the house by then?

>> well, you know, sometimes, 5 after, 10 after, depends on your school district .

>> jennifer?

>> the best laid plans can often go afoul. and the fact is build in extra time . mondays, everybody has to get geared up for the week. it's not easy. build an extra time . no one is in a groove yet. don't expect everything to run like clockwork. build in buffer zones.

>> and try not to shout. even whisper. calm voices. kids pay attention more when you aren't yelling.

>> that is true. i saw one teacher who went crazy in the classroom and the moment she just spoke sternly and softly, the kids started paying attention.

>> i wish i had learned that before my children were grown.

>> the next time is tuesday at 6:00 p.m .

>> go, clock.

>> so why is that time so stressful?

>> you planned ahead. made a healthy dinner. you'll all sit down together but then the kids start complaining about what's on the menu and no one is sitting at the table. and it's frustrating because you want it to be a nice family time. but i think it's about more than the food, really. you kind of have to just accept.

>> and focus on the family . the fact is everybody takes their tech, puts it aside. everybody can be complaining. once you all sit down and everyone takes a big breath, you can start to have a conversation about what everyone is up to. but research shows that kids and teens are very well protected with family din eners. the meal is really important.

>> my birthday girl today would come home from school looking like she'd just been to chernobyl. and eat her dinner at 4:00 in the afternoon, so starved. i'd make her sit with us at the family dinner, but everybody is on a different schedule.

>> if you can make that part of the schedule that's a non nonnegotiable.

>> thursday at 4:00 p.m . what happens now. why is it so bad?

>> you are picking up the kids from an after-school activity. then you g have have to stop at the market to pick up food for dinner. if you make a commitment, follow through on the commitment. if you know it's going to be super crazy and you say maybe today we won't go and we'll do something else. we'll have a down afternoon. know your kids. some kids can't do all of that. so talk to them in the morning.

>> the most stressful time of the week is sunday at 7:00 p.m . that's the --

>> it will come.

>> it will come.

>> goody bags from parties.

>> you're late, clock.

>> and the clock will --

>> what is the best way to get out of that?

>> create a plan that everybody works together to prep for the week.